Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sudbury Ontario to Bancroft Ontario to Cambridge Ontario And Home

First, I just want to make a brief comment on the weather. The last two days (since we got back from eleven days of record cold) have been sunny, warm and beautiful. These, of course, would be the two days I have been running around the province in a vehicle with doors and a (now unneeded) heater.

I woke up very groggy from the cold, which had now plugged my sinuses.

Steve at the GM dealer in Bancroft told me he'd call me about 9:00 AM to let me know if the fuel pump for Heather's car came in and that, if it did, the car should be ready by mid-afternoon. That would allow me time, after I got the call, to get down there by that time. He threw me for a loop when he called at 9:00 and told me the car was ready to go. Had I even considered this possibility, I would have left very early to make use of the daylight hours.

We did get to travel some very nice Ontario roads on the way to Bancroft. Sudbury to North Bay and down 11 to Huntsville were pretty boring, but 60 over to Dwight, down 35 and across 118 through Haliburton were fine, and are some of the nicer motorcycle roads in Ontario. As noted before, however, we didn't have the motorcycle.

Once in Bancroft, I took a wild guess and headed north on Highway 62 through the sleepy downtown. Ford dealership, Chrysler dealership, then out of downtown and a Tim Horton's. We grabbed a coffee and I asked an OPP constable where the GM dealership was. He said I was going the right way, but that it was about 2 1/2 miles north of town. On again past a new Crappy Tire and some other stores and finally, there it was. The fuel pump was covered under the GM Optimum warranty, so all that was required was $71 for the new fuel filter.

I took the Grand Am and Sandy took over the van. We have FRS radios which we use to stay in touch at times like this. I fueled the little car and we started down Highway 28 towards Peterborough at about 2:45. The Grand Am drives very nicely but it only has a four cylinder motor so you need to plan ahead for acceleration. I was working routes in my map atlas since it looked like we would hit Toronto about rush hour.

By-passing Peterborough on 7, we headed towards Toronto but cut off on 7A across southern Ontario farmland to Port Perry. Rejoining 7, we opted to jump on the 407 Express Toll Route and pay the big toll in the interest of making time. This was quick and the wisdom was shown when we got off on the 401 West, which was slow moving. Shortly thereafter, it broke up a little bit and we got into Cambridge at about 7:00. Heather met us in the parking lot, we transferred my gear back to the van and got back on the road for the trip home.

Again in the interest of speed, we took the 401 to the 407 to the 400 North. Not having to worry about anyone following me, I flowed with the faster traffic at about 140 KPH. That's about 88 MPH for those of you who are metrically challenged. It was easy to see summer was upon us because the sky was still light at 9:30 and we have another month yet to go before the solstice.

As it got darker, I backed the speed down a little and started watching for animal eyes. Deer, moose, bear. Lots of choices. We grabbed a coffee in Parry Sound and, as the road went to two lanes, I slowed more until I found a truck that was doing a decent pace and tucked in behind him. This got us all the way to Sudbury with very little effort. We arrived back home about 11:45 PM after having covered 750 miles and ending up right back where we started:-)

I had worried about being tired but that wasn't a problem. We watched the taped American Idol finale and saw Taylor Hicks win. Since the two finalists were my favourites all the way through, I couldn't be disappointed. Then I sat up until 3:30 catching up on the VROC news.

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